The business world has undergone a revolution since the use of the Internet became widespread. With the web, business owners are finally able to promote their company to potentially millions of people without having to spend large quantities of money on advertising campaigns.
The advent of social sharing tools is another huge step in providing businesses with the possibility of reaching new clientele. The number of people using social media websites has grown exponentially over the past few years, giving companies an ever growing base of potential customers to get their message out to. Using social media gives every marketing and business owner the possibility of growing their business to points that would not have been imaginable only ten years ago.
The Growth of Social Media
If you are a savvy marketer or enterprise, you are already aware of the benefits and are executing on a social media plan. You realize that brands are beginning to influence buying decisions through social media. In fact, according to a study conducted by Market Force, 78% of respondents said the posts by companies they follow on social media impact their purchases.
But, if you are just getting started in social media marketing for your business, you may be overwhelmed by the growth and the options. Start simply. Start with at least one of the most popular networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, that are adding millions of users every day and begin to ride the wave.
- Facebook is adding new users at a rate that far exceeds other social sites and is currently estimated to be at 955 million users worldwide and 158 million in the US (that’s three-quarters of the internet population). Each of these users has the potential and a way to see content from any business with a Facebook account.
- Twitter has also continued to grow, and while it has not reached the level that Facebook has attained, it had over 140 million users as of March 2012.
There are many websites that have registered users that no longer serve any real benefit for business owners. Sites like Myspace and Xanga used to have more users than other social media sites, but they have quickly died out and really don’t provide enough exposure for businesses. Websites like Facebook and Twitter, however, keep track of the number updates their users post per day. Consistent posts from registered users show that they are online and available to see business pages if given the appropriate push.
Also growing is the number of content shares every day on Facebook, ranging from status updates to reposting content from other people’s or business’s pages. In July, 2011 Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, stated that there were over four billion pieces of information shared on the website every day. Twitter comes in at a far second, but as of July 2012, there were 350 billion items shared on Twitter each day. This includes curated or linked content from other sources that they want to share. This can include news articles, pictures and even updates from different companies.
The Growth of Social Sharing by Businesses
Savvy business owners have started to realize that marketing on social media sites is the wave of the future and 83% of marketers surveyed indicate that social media is important to their business.
The Content Marketing Institute conducted a study that concluded that:
- 74% of all business-to-business marketing companies found social media the most important tactic next to articles.
- 74% distributed content on Twitter vs. 70% on Facebook, and
- To address the needs from a content perspective, 62% of B2B marketers use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.
How Businesses should leverage Social Media
One mistake that even the most social media savvy businesses are making has to do with sharing links between their website and their social media web pages and vice versa.
- Having links to a social media page on a company’s actual webpage is a quick way to turn current customers into permanent customer acquirers.
- Likewise, conversations on your social properties should link back to your website to engage your prospects on your website, whenever possible.
- 74% of marketers interviewed saw an increase in website traffic with just over an hour a day invested in social media marketing.
It’s important to expand your social reach using tactics such as sharing your content, content of others, and establishing appropriate relationships.
How Businesses should Curate for Social Media
Sharing great content puts your company in a position to be seen as a thought leader. Posting content on a regular basis instills trust in a company. You’re your company continuously produces innovative ideas your show your readers and prospects that you can not only be trusted, but can be trusted to know exactly what is best for your customers. One of the easiest, most effective ways your can acquire and share content is through content curation.
When you curate content for your social properties, alternate it with original content, product promotions, and customer insights. The curated content from credible third party sources allows you to engage in conversations your customers and prospects care about on the latest trending topics in your market. Always add links that drive your prospects back to your web site where you can further engage and sell.
To make the most of your content, remember the 3 Rs to content creation. Your content should be: Recent, Reliable, and Relevant.
If you are not sharing socially, the time is now. When you start to share your ideas socially with content displays your bold ideas, clear point of views, and high quality original research then your business begin to achieve thought leader status.